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Working Holiday Visa for Overseas Nurses and Midwives

Posted on 25/01/2019 by Elizabeth Cox

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Are you a Nurse or Midwife thinking of traveling to Australia on a working holiday visa (WHV)?  

Here are some important and hopefully helpful considerations on how to make your working holiday visa work for you.

If your plan is to enjoy the beach / traveling lifestyle, where you sign up for agency shifts when you want, then consider the following:

  • You can register with agencies before you arrive over to Australia, this is useful as they will normally let you know what documentation is required, before you arrive into Australia.
  • Agency shifts can be cancelled and assigned at last minute, so keep ahead of your budget.
  • December / January is a very quiet time for agency work, while things start to pick up between April and October.
  • If you want to extend to a second Working Holiday Visa, you will need to do your 3 months regional work before your visa runs out.  That means you will only be able to work for 9 months as a Nurse in year 1.
  • If you arrive over to Australia before your AHPRA is ready, and you plan to stay for year 2, consider using this time to complete your 3 months regional work while you wait for AHPRA to be awarded.

Career Development & Building Your Skills

If you want to enjoy the Australian lifestyle but still continue to consolidate your Nursing experience and skills, it is possible to start a role on a working holiday visa and transfer to a TSS Visa within your 6 month stint. (You can only work with one employer for 6 months on a WHV) 

How would that work?

  • Get employed directly with a Hospital on your WHV, this should ideally happen before you arrive into Australia.  Overseas recruitment specialists like ICE Group can help.
  • After 3 months (all going well) your hospital will nominate you for a TSS visa which will allow you to continue to work with the hospital for up to 2 yrs, extendable for up to 4 yrs. 
  • This means you are not required to do any regional farm work.
  • It also means you can continue to work in your speciality area, developing your skills and building your career.
  • On a TSS visa you have to work full time hours (38 hrs per week) and you must remain working for the nominating employer.
  • Your partner can be named on the TSS visa, thus giving them the same work rights as you.
  • You must have 2 years full time experience as an RN / RM to be eligible for a TSS visa (internship will not count)

If you are unsure about how long you will stay, or concerned you might not like Australia, you can try for the best of both worlds.

  • For your first six months or first year of the Working Holiday Visa do agency shifts.
  • If you are enjoying it and know you want to stay, plan for your last six months, or second year on Working Holiday Visa to convert to a TSS visa.
  • It can take up to 3 months to get your nomination process.  Adding in time for the recruitment process (CV, interviews, references, documentation) means you start looking for TSS visa nomination, 4 months in advance of any potential start date.
  • You should also start this process 6 months before your Working Holiday Visa is due to expire.

So the best of luck on your travels, enjoy everything that Australia has to offer, and if you want check out our current opportunities on www.icejobs.ie or email me at nurse@icegroup.ie

Need help with your AHPRA application? ICE Group are holding various AHPRA Workshops to help Nurses and Midwives planning to go over in 2019 / 2020. 
For information on our February workshops go to
AHPRA Workshop – Limerick, 5th February 2019
AHPRA Workshop – Galway, 8th February 2019